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Brandy Jesperson

Brandy Jesperson

Lately I’ve been a bit obsessed with countdowns. My handsome husband and I are expecting our first baby in February, so we’re excitedly counting down the months until we get to meet our new little bundle of joy. I’m a self-professed Christmas-holic, so I’m counting down the days until I can start putting up my Christmas decorations and watching my favorite Christmas movies in front of the fire. I’m counting down the days until my local grocery store is selling pumpkins for me to purchase and promptly place on my front porch. And finally, I’m counting down the days until our first Editorial Board meeting with the new Paper Crafts Go-to Gals! 

Yep, Betsy, Maren, Kim K., Kim H., Teri, and Jessica are all jet setting their way to Salt Lake next week to meet for a few days of jibber jabbering and concepting. We’ve had lots of Editorial Board meetings in the past. We’ve met with an assortment of talented designers and picked their brains all in the hopes of producing bigger and better magazines for you, our loyal readers. 

Here we are at my house last fall. Weve met in stuffy conference rooms before, but we find were more creative when we can take off our shoes and relax a bit.

We held last year's ed board meeting at my house. We've met in conference rooms before, but we find we're more creative when we can take off our shoes and relax.

And of course, no Paper Crafts meeting would be complete without a wide variety of candy!

And no Paper Crafts meeting would be complete without a wide variety of sugary substances to keep our energy levels up!

How else do you explain these psychic connections between Founding Paper Crafts Pro Sue Neal and Paper Crafts Founder Valerie Pingree?

How else do you explain the psychic connection between Founding Paper Crafts Pro Sue Neal and Paper Crafts Founder Valerie Pingree?

This year will be no different. I’m positive that we’ll come up with some amazing ideas for next year’s magazines. The fact that we finally get to meet some of these Go-to Gals in person is just icing on the cake!

Since all of us at Paper Crafts sincerely value what YOU ALL think we’d love to get your ideas too. Consider this your chance to add your ideas to the Editorial Board pot. Leave a comment letting me know what types of features you’d like to see in the future pages of Paper Crafts. Have a technique you’d like to learn more about? Tell me about it and we’ll try our best to work it into the magazine. Want yet another way to be a part of next week’s Editorial Board meeting? Check out our Facebook page for updates on Tuesday…we’ll be sharing little bits of our meeting with our fans!

Okay, now that this blog is written and posted, I’m counting down the hours until lunch! This pregnant editor is hungry for something salty! 

Happy Thursday all!
Brandy

P.S. If f you’d like to make your own psychic connection with Sue Neal, she’ll be teaching some fun card classes at CKC-San Marcos this weekend. If you’re in the neighborhood, swing by and give her a big Texas-sized hug!

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P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and the last day of our “Christmas in August” celebration! We hope you’ve enjoyed your sneak peek of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 both here and on Moxie Fab World.

For those of you just joining us today, make sure to read all of our festive posts this week. From our spotlight on cover girl Jennifer Beason to getting gifty to celebrating the seasons with Wendy Johnson and dressing the tree with homemade ornaments, we’ve had a grand ol’ time! And special thanks go out to all the manufacturers who’ve donated their fabulous product for our daily giveaways! As always, your generosity is much appreciated!

If you haven’t entered one of Cath’s “Stretch Your Holiday Style” challenges, it’s not too late to play! Whether your style is clean & graphic, vintage & shabby, fun & cute or classy & elegant, you’ve got until Monday, Sept. 7 to upload your project image. (Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not enter all five of Cath’s challenges?! Today she reveals her final one!)

Today I have the opportunity to spotlight a few of my favorite designs from the diverse cards section of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. If one of the styles mentioned above resonates with you, then you’re in luck – all of these styles can be found in the 100+ cards we feature in this merry magazine!

If youre a stamper, you cant go wrong with Alli Miles Trees of Joy Card (p. 29). Not only did this card grace our cover, it can be recreated in five steps or less!

If you're a stamper, you can't go wrong with Alli Miles' Trees of Joy Card (p. 29). Not only did this card grace our cover, it can be recreated in five steps or less!

If youre more of a clean & graphic girl (and you like to stamps!), look no furhter than Teri Andersons Trim the Tree and Joy to the World Cards (p. 16).

If you're more of a clean & graphic girl (and you like to stamp!), look no further than Teri Anderson's Trim the Tree and Joy to the World Cards (p. 16).

Or if youre into the vintage & shabby chic look, why not gain some inspiration from Renee Lambs Partridge in a Pear Tree Card.

Or if you're into the vintage & shabby style, you'll definitely find it in Renee Lamb's Partridge in a Pear Tree Card (p. 55).

And these amazing designs are just a sampling of what graces the pages of 8-82. I told you it was a big section!

Knows what else is big? Today’s giveaway! I’ve been wanting to spill the beans all week long, but then I would surely end up on Santa’s naughty list. And since I’ve been a pretty good girl (up until this point), it wasn’t worth the risk! But since Friday is officially here, it’s time to unload Santa’s sleigh!

Since this is our fourth volume of Holiday Cards & More, three winners will each receive:

  • Technique Tuesday’s Peace, Joy, Love, Holly Jolly Christmas and Frayed Ends stamp sets (Teri used these sets on her Joy to the World Card.)
  • Making Memories’ new Mistletoe collection
  • A copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4
But if random integer happens to draw your name as my fourth winner, you will take home this grand giveaway, courtesy of Close to My Heart:
How would you like to unwrap this present under your tree?

How would you like to unwrap this present under your tree?

To be entered to win, leave a comment telling me the best present you’ve ever unwrapped. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, August 30. I’ll announce ALL of the winners from Holiday Cards & More Week on Monday’s blog!

Have a happy “holly-day”!
Kelly

P.S. Just a quick reminder… If you’re looking to buy Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 for you or a friend, today is the last day you can purchase this special issue for 10 percent off the retail price. You might as well start your Christmas shopping early! Click HERE to reserve your copies today!

Wendy Johnson, Founding Paper Crafts Pro

Wendy Johnson

‘Tis the season for ribbons, paper galore and homemade gifts tied up in pretty things! As we celebrate an early Christmas this week on the ol’ Paper Crafts blog, I’m excited to share with you a tag I created for this very fun special issue that is overflowing with amazing holiday creations. 

The little diddy shown below and featured in Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 was made with love from the super cute KI Memories collection, “Festive.” I love the bright colors and whimsical design that captures the fun side of the holiday season, and I’d love to give away a set of this collection along with a copy of this extra special holiday issue. Just leave me a comment by Friday, August 28 at midnight MDT and I’ll choose three winners.

Christmas Heart Tag (p. 106)

I can’t believe that we’re already gearing up for this season and all that it brings. It seems that every season sneaks up on us whether we are prepared for it or not! I also know that along with the seasons of fall, winter, summer and spring, there comes other seasons in our lives… all of which serve a purpose and shape who we are. I love this little reminder that is perched on my mantle that helps me remember that there truly is a season and time for every purpose in our lives. 

This lovely quote greets me each and every day.

Six years ago, seeds were planted during a time of my life that has grown and flourished and become one of my most bountiful seasons. Those seeds were planted in the rich soil of Paper Crafts and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have grown and flourished within the pages of this magazine, as they themselves grew from a single issue. I was there in the beginning and have thoroughly enjoyed this little season of my life. My greatest accomplishment has come within the pages of The Joy of Card Making and The Joy of Card Making: A Second Helping special issues.

I’m so grateful for Valerie Pingree and Jennafer Martin for their vision and belief in me as we worked together to bring you little card recipes for you to use in your card making. I will never forget the late night hours with two sleeping little ones tucked in their beds, as I worked on sketches and cards to share with you, our beloved readers. After the success of both issues, I was then asked to become a Paper Crafts Pro and continued to share with you my love and passion for paper crafting each month. I have also traveled across the country to Canada and even on a Caribbean Cruise to teach eager students who are ready to learn and share in this amazing hobby! 

As this season of my life comes to a close, I can’t say goodbye without saying thank you to those that have helped shape my life during this season…

  • Valerie Pingree – who saw something in me the very first day and captured the vision of The Joy of Card Making from the first moment she laid eyes on it. I owe this all to you!
  • Jennafer Martin – oh, how I have missed her! The e-mails and phone calls over the years as we worked together on The Joy of Card Making series and other special issues when she was managing editor of Paper Crafts.  Jennafer, you are one of the most amazing and influential women in the editorial department and I’m so proud to have worked with you. You deserve your new title more than ANYONE, and I’m a better person for having known you!
  • Nichole Heady – we became Paper Crafts Pro buddies from the very beginning. We’ve shared moments of laughter and late night talks as we discussed everything from our children, snakes that roam her Tennessee backyard and the latest and greatest in paper, ribbon and stamps. I’m so proud of you and your risk to make your dreams come true… Papertrey Ink. I love ya, friend!
  • Alisa Bangerter – There isn’t anyone that is more genuine, honest and sincere than this dear friend. Alisa, you are so very talented and I’m so proud of you! I love watching your segments on KSL as you have taken flight in your own new adventures. I will be the first in line to buy your book… so you better get it written!
  • Melissa Phillips – Seriously, can there be anyone sweeter than you?! Oh, sweet Melissa, how I love ya, girlie! You are THE MOST talented gal I know and best little mommy! Thank you for always being there, listening to me and being a part of this season in my life!
  • Sue Neal – If you haven’t taken a class from Sue, then you are truly missing out! She is one of the best teachers I know and is so full of life. I’m so glad we share some Idaho roots and that we have become such good friends! Best of luck with your cute card kits and I’ll see you at the conventions!
  • Stacy Croninger – There was no one better to take the helm of Paper Crafts after Valerie stepped down than you! I have missed your Laffy Taffy jokes and fun sense of humor! I’m so grateful that you are still a part of this huge family and that I get to see you at the Creating Keepsakes Conventions… I’m such a lucky gal!
  • Cath Edvalson – There really aren’t any words to adequately describe this amazing lady! We have spent several years working together and I have learned so much from her! Cath, I will never forget when you told me you had an “emotional reaction” over a picture frame I created years ago… that is my greatest compliment from you. Thank you!
  • Brenda Peterson – The glue that holds the entire Paper Crafts family together. I have worked with Brenda since that very first day and she is still here to keep everyone going! Thank you for your hard work and making sure I get paid!
  •  Jennifer, Brandy, Kelly and Susan – The rest of the gals that round out the amazing editorial staff of Paper Crafts magazine. Although our time spent together was very short, I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to have known and worked with you. Brandy, thank you for your wonderful home where we met many times to brainstorm, laugh and enjoy good food! Kelly, you have taken the blogging world by fire and you are amazing with what you do. Susan, you have added a whole other element to this family… thank you for your presence and hard work! Jennifer – everyone is in good hands with you leading the team. Thank you for your help and understanding during very difficult times.
  • Paper Crafts Loyal Readers – all I can say is… thank you. Thank you for your loyal support every month as you read the pages of this amazing magazine. We all love you!

As with every season in our lives, when one comes to a close, another one begins to come to life. And so it is with my own little journey in life. Although my season with Paper Crafts magazine has come to a close, I’m beyond excited and thrilled for my new season that is just beginning to sprout. As the new Education Coordinator for Piggy Tales, I will be designing classes and traveling across the country doing what I love the very most… teaching! I will also be designing projects galore through our monthly kit club, PTA, and many other assignments and adventures that are about to unfold. So, drop by our web site and you will be able to continue to see me in all that Piggy Tales has to offer… you don’t want to miss out!

And last, but not least, I must thank my sweet husband. He was there that very first day when I had the idea to submit my work. He has encouraged me every step of the way, washed dishes, mopped floors and wiped runny noses from two little faces when I have been buried in deadlines! If it weren’t for him, my dreams would have never come true! I love you, babe!

May we each remember that there truly is a “season and a time to every purpose” as we each journey through life… may you live each season that comes your way to the very fullest!

Wendy, Founding Paper Crafts Pro

P.S. If you’re a new reader and interested in learning more about The Joy of Card Making special issues, we’re currently offering a “Buy One, Get One” sale. If you buy the first volume, you’ll get “A Second Helping” for FREE! Click HERE to reserve your copies today!

Susan Neal

Susan Neal

As I travel and teach for Paper Crafts magazine, the most common question I hear is “how can I get your job?” I thought I’d take this last opportunity to answer with the long version, basically a synopsis of my time here at Paper Crafts… let’s go back in time!

In  2001 I started a relationship with Creating Keepsakes magazine. I had entered a few contests, one of which I won, and the other which led me to doing some design work, including this first cover:

The July/August 2001 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine

The July/August 2001 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine

In conversation with the CK editors, they discovered I was a designer/painter. They quickly got me in contact with the managing editor (Jennafer Martin, who is now the editor-in-chief of CK) of their new sister publication Crafts magazine. Literally, within a few days I had design assignments. I spent the next few years designing and painting for Crafts, but my heart was turning to paper. I was done with wood!

Fortunately, Crafts magazine and Valerie Pingree (the founding editor of Paper Crafts) also made such a change and in February of 2004 Paper Crafts magazine was launched and I was along for the ride. And what a ride it’s been!

Heres where it all began: the Febraury 2004 issue of Paper Crafts.

Here's where it all began: the February 2004 issue of Paper Crafts.

At the time I had just sold a paper crafting retail store/web site I had started in 2002. I suddenly had two very important things necessary to contributing to Paper Crafts magazine in a big way: time and plenty of paper crafting supplies. 

In short order I was asked to fill the role of Paper Crafts Pro for the magazine. It was very much a job that evolved over time, and one that was exciting and creative and really, just fun. We (the PC Pros) became contributors not only in design, but at editorial boards meetings; we helped to critique past issues and plan for new ones. We researched trends, brainstormed and got super creative.

Early on, I conceived a special issue idea that turned into Card Fashion; using fashion to inspire card design. I got to concept, write, assign, organize and I loved every moment of it. I have to thank Jennafer M. and Stacy C. for giving me that opportunity.

Card Fashion, 2006

Card Fashion, 2006

It was such a joy to work for Paper Crafts that I don’t think I’ve ever said no to any request in all the years I’ve worked there. I’m sure I’ll hear about it if I did!

We soon got opportunities to teach; which has been one of my most beloved responsibilities and one that I’ve carried through to a new business I started last fall, Q’s Creative Card Classes. I love to travel, meet new people and share in our mutual paper crafting passion. I was just in Valley Forge a few weeks ago and will be in Tulsa again this weekend – hopefully I’ll see some of you there!

CKC-Valley Forge, 2009

CKC-Valley Forge, 2009

We travelled to CHA and other industry conventions, representing the magazine, doing research and creating relationships with manufacturers. Many great memories are associated with these trips and I dearly miss them.

In 2006 I was asked to represent Paper Crafts on a local morning show KSL Studio 5. I clearly remember the butterflies that first day, but oddly enough they quickly disappeared and I left the show that day thinking, “I think I can do this.” I’m sure a large part of this was the ease of interaction with the hostess of the show, Brooke Walker.

Heres one of my appearances on Studio5. Love that Brooke Walker!

Here's one of my appearances on Studio 5. Love that Brooke Walker!

Surprisingly, the most intimidating thing I’ve been asked to do is video tape instructional videos. I know this sounds very similar to live TV, but actually, it’s much, much harder, as you have nothing but a camera (or two) to relate to. No cute hostess to play off of or fill in your blanks – just you and the camera. Fortunately, I was very prepared and despite my nervousness, was able to create some successful teaching segments. The second time I did this was much easier, which just goes to show you that some things just have to be done to be learned.

Practice makes perfect!

Practice makes perfect!

You can see me in this video!

You can see me in this video!

It has been my absolute joy being an ambassador and cheerleader for Paper Crafts Magazine and one I don’t plan on stopping. I continue to devour each issue and share that love with anyone I come in contact with. As a founding PC Pro, I’m hoping you’ll still see me on occasion.

Working for Paper Crafts has given me a whole new set of skills that I want to use. Q’s Creative Card Classes has become a huge part of my life. I’ve also continued my relationship with Studio 5 and am now a regular cooking and paper crafting contributor for them. I still freelance design and consult in large part because of the treasured friendships and valuable relationships I’ve gathered over the years. 

I’m sure it’s easy to see the opportunity part of this equation. I want to thank every one of you who gave me those moments… you know who you are!

I prepared for those opportunities by working. Really, it’s that simple. I love this hobby so much that work for me was a joy, but it was still work. Lots and lots and lots of design, educating myself on techniques and even creating some along the way. And of course, staying on top of trends and reading Paper Crafts magazine! The editors at Paper Crafts are so good at communicating just what they need, so read closely and don’t give up! Keep submitting and persevere. I’ll be looking for your name soon!

Your Founding PC Pro,
Sue Neal

P.S. If you’re intrigued by the concept of Card Fashion, I just happen to have three copies from the secret Paper Crafts vault. Leave me a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive their very own copy! All comments must be received by midnight on Thursday, August 20.

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